UMUAHIA : TINUBU MINISTER WINS AS LABOUR PARTY OGAH LOSE REPS SIT
The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, on Wednesday, nullified the election of Amobi Ogah of the Labour Party representing Isiukwuato Umunneochi Federal Constituency on grounds of non-compliance to the Electoral Act.
Delivering Judgement in the Petition tagged EPT/AB/HR/8/2023 on Wednesday in Umuahia, the three-member Panel 1 of the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal said the candidate of the Labour Party did not comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act.
“How a candidate is sponsored by a political party is both pre- and post-election, there is no evidence of giving 21 days’ notice to INEC by the respondent before conducting their primary election.
“No date of primaries was placed before us; no evidence of primaries and the 3rd respondent has always said it’s an internal affair of the party.
“We have tabulated and found out that the results computed by the petition are correct and the results computed by the 1st respondent are dis-countenanced,” the tribunal ruled.
Ogah had argued that the acceptance of the ministerial appointment of Hon Nkeiruka Onyejeocha as minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was a sign that she had abandoned her petition. But the tribunal in her ruling dismissed the submission of the lawmaker.
We are of the view that Section 66 is not applicable to this scenario because the petitioner is not a lawmaker of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The scenario prohibited by law is a person being a member of two arms of government,” the court ruled.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had on February 28 declared the Labour Party candidate, Ogah, as the winner of the Isiukwuato Umunneochi Federal Constituency election with a total of 11,769 votes against the current Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, who the commission said scored a total of 8,752 votes.
Not happy with the result, Onyejeocha filed a petition before the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, seeking the nullification of Ogah’s election in seven reliefs contained in her petition.
AMUWO-ODOFIN : TINUBU WILL DELIVER ON PROMISES, SANUSI APPEALS TO CONSTITUENTS
Prince Lanre A.Sanusi (PLS) has expressed optimism that the Nigeria’s President and leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu will deliver in all his electoral promises as he appeals for more patience and understanding from members of his community.
PLS as he is fondly called gave this assurance while addressing key members of his party, the APC in FESTAC, Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency on Sunday.
He said, “I am here for Asiwaju. We are grateful for our great party. Thank you very much for all your support for the party in Amuwo Odofin. Despite the trying times, you all still held forth and calmed the people. There is nothing more I can tell you than to say to thank you on behalf of our party leadership. “
“We are here today. We are very grateful for our victory. We are very grateful for your support, and I can assure you that Asiwaju is going to deliver all his electoral promises. He was prepared for this, and I am convinced that Nigerians will surmount her challenges. Thank you very much indeed!” he added.
Sanusi stressed that the new task before Bola Tinubu after he took oath of office to lead Africa’s largest economy and most populous country is enormous, and the general expectations are high.
The task awaiting Mr Tinubu ‘’requires a lot of thinking and action,’’ says the Awori born Prince of Lagos State.‘’The best job for the Mr president is to give Nigerians a better economy, that he has pledged and promised to do, hence, I appeal to Nigerians and members of my Constituency to be a little more patient with Mr President,’’.
He said Nigeria needs to diversify it’s economy by investing more in non-oil sectors, including agriculture, which will help to reduce food imports and promote a strong economy.
APC LOSES FMR. STATE SECRETARY, SANUSI JOINS OTHERS TO EULOGIZE THE PARTY SCRIBE
A stalwart of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State who was also a former State Scribe, Primate Charles Odugbesi, is dead.
Odugnesi, who is a leader of the Mandate Group – a political group in the APC passed away quietly into the bossom of his creator.
In a statement release by the APC Divisional Chairman, Otunba Olasunkanmi Tijani in Ikorodu Division stated that the party stalwart have been “a resource to the party and state and will be greatly missed.”
Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency House of Representatives hopeful and party stalwart, Prince Lanre Sanusi in a statement titled, ‘APC Mourns A Rare Party Scribe, Charles Odugbesi’ releasedto the media.
Sanusi, described the late Odugbesi’s death as a rude shock, noting that “the deceased was a respected politician, a strong party man and an advocate of masses-oriented programmes.”
PLS as is fondly called by his Constituents was quoted as saying, “I am saddened by the death of one of our political leaders in Lagos APC, Primate Charley. He was a loyal party man and committed democrat, with a deep understanding of the state’s political landscape as Scribe. He was an extremely loyal politician, who did his best for our party, the All Progressives Congress.
“Primate served his people in Ikorodu and Lagos State as Party Secretary. He brought a lot of developmental ideas and vitality to the State party administration and also made a lot of positive contributions to turn around the seamless interaction of party mebers and the State Excos – afeat that was well emulated up till today.
“There is no doubting the fact that he would be missed by the entire political class, particularly the people of Ikorodu Division, the Lagos East Senatorial District, and the State as a whole.”
PLS also condoled with the immediate family of the departed, all APC members in Lagos state, and the entire people of Ikorodu Division.
He prayed to God to grant Charley’s soul eternal rest.
ALAMUWO: SANUSI JOINS OVORI OF IBESHE, ONI GBANKO, ONIBASA AND ALAHUN OF IMORE ON CONDOLENCE VISIT
The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the 2023 House of Representatives elections, an Awori Prince paid a condolenec visit to the palace of the Alamuwo of Kuje-Amuwo who moved on to join his ancestors.
Also visiting were the traditional rulers within Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency who were also at the palace of Alamuwo of Kuje Amuwo to sign the condolence register and to commiserate with the Olori’s and chiefs.
Signing the register were the Alahun of Imore, Ovori of Ibeshe, Oni Gbanko of Irede and Onibasa of Ibasa.
Sanusi described the death of the Alamuwo as a great loss coming at a time the constituency is in dire need of his wise guidance and counsel.
He then conveyed his deepest condolences to the bereaved family as well as the Amuwo Odofin APC party members and the people of Amuwo Odofin over the huge loss, praying that Almighty Allah will grant the deceased Al-jannat Firdaus.
PLS as he is fondly called also consoled personally the Oloris and Chiefs to take heart and accept the loss as an act of God, who giveth and taketh at decreed times. “It is unfortunate but there’s nothing we can do. Every life must return to its creator.
“We pray Almighty Allah to forgive his shortcomings and admit him in Jannatul Firdaus as well as grant his entire family the fortitude and strength to bear this great loss,” he consoled.
Ovori of Ibeshe in his own submission stated that the late monarch loved and worked for Amuwo Odofin’s development with all his might.
The Ibeshe monarch, who spoke at the Alamuwo’s palace, said that Oba Olayemi’s death was a personal loss to him, as he was a partner in the progress and development of the state.
According to the Alahun of Imore , “Oba Olayemi left a good legacy and did wonderfully well for the development of Kuje-Amuwo and Lagos State in general.
He said: “I greet the entire people of Kuje-Amuwo on the transition of our Kabiyesi, the Alamuwo of Kuje-Amuwo.
“A lot of people may not know that Kabiyesi and I were very close. In my assessment of him, I know he loves Amuwo more than anyone can imagine.”
Member -Elect representating Amuwo Odofin Constituency 1 at the Lagos State House of Assembly, under the Labour Party, Hon Stella Foluke Osafile has sent greetings to her constituents as Nigeria celebrates her democracy day.
In a statement personally signed by her and made available to Push News 24 International, the LP candidate was seen also appealing for the prayers and support of her constituency.
Below is the full release:
JUNE 12: IT IS OUR DEMOCRACY DAY .
Dear Fellow Constituent
Firstly, I bless God for preserving our lives and making the thanksgiving of yesterday a reality. Seeing your beautiful faces in that large turnout yesterday gladdened my heart and encouraged me more towards what binds us together as a people than what divides us. Starting from the humor of the MC, to the powerful message for the day, to the dancing steps of our old and young, and many more, it has further strengthened my hope and confidence in the community and what we can achieve together as a people if we can stay united in the growth and development of our constituency.
Today is June 12, 2023. It is exactly 30 years today since Nigerians matched out in large numbers to the polling unit to exercise their civil right to elect their president in a peaceful atmosphere, and in which the late MKO Moshood Kashimawo Abiola was duly elected in an election that was rated as the most peaceful, free and fair election in our electoral history .
The annulment of that election result by then former military head of state, General Ibrahim Babangida, didn’t go down well with the people, the international community and actually led to the deaths of many Nigerians across the country in a civil unrest that lasted for many years. The June 12 democratic exercise of that day is what led to the June 12 remembrance today.
It is a history of pain for every tenet and lover of democracy. It is a day in our history that must not repeat itself. It is bittersweet for many of us who witnessed such an experience, and this is why we must guard very well our electoral rights for the growth and development of Nigeria.
Today is Democracy Day as assigned in the Nigerian National Constitution as altered, and we must begin with the count of our gains and not just the horrible events of history.
Today, I am a product of the democratic govenrnace demand that many lost their lives 30 years ago. This is what you did for me by standing firm in that scorching sun of May 18, 2023, despite intimidation and harassment.
Our democratic process is emerging but still has a lot of issues to fix, and we must ensure we get better as we count our days by standing for a free and fair electoral process always.
As your honorable representative in the Lagos Assembly Chamber, I need your continuous prayers and moral support to deliver as expected. I promise, by the grace of God, to work with colleagues in the house in knowledge and idea sharing that will deliver legislative government to the Amuwo Odofin Constituency 1 that I represent. I will defend your right to vote, your right to education, Medicare, and general constituency development.
God willing, we will be having our town hall meeting every quarter to discuss all our areas of concern as a constituency.
It is a new dawn, and we can only get better as a community, in Lagos State and in Nigeria as a whole.
Thank you all. I love you, and I bless God for your lives.
God bless the Amuwo Odofin Community.
God bless Lagos State.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Hon Stella Foluke Osafile Hon representing Amuwo Odofin Constituency 1, Lagos State.
AMUWO ODOFIN: TINUBU WILL NOT LABOUR IN VAIN – SANUSI
Breathing a sigh of relief from the aborted NLC strike over subsidy removal, All Progressives Congress (APC) Chieftain in Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency, Prince Lanre Sanusi has declared confidently to Nigerians that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu will not labour in vain and will succeed as the 16th President of Nigeria.
According to the All Progressives Congress (APC) 2023 House of Representative Candidate, Tinubu’s attributes and his efforts in reaching out to those that matters stands him out as a responsive and transformational leader who is interested in the welfare and economic prosperity of the people.
He said: “For a long time I have nursed the feeling that Tinubu will be Nigeria’s President because I see in him a true Nigerian who believes in everybody regardless of his tribe, creed or faith.”
Speaking while receiving some party leaders in his Constituency on Monday, Sanusi said the idea of reaching out to stakeholders regarding Nigeria affairs rather than grandstanding is what will differentiate Tinubu from other past leaders.
PLS as he is fondly called, also reaffirmed Asiwaju administration’s commitment to the welfare of workers and other self employed Nigerians as mentioned during his presidential campaigns.
Speaking to Push News 24 International, Sanusi emphasized that the welfare of workers and indeed Nigerians would remain a top priority throughout this administration.”
Despite not been the spokesperson for the government, PLS said as a party man he owes his constituents in Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency the duty to update and guide them through various policy decisions of government and how it will affect them.
Sanusi expressed his appreciation for the unreserved support of his constituents in the last general elections and assured that his cardinal mandate would be to focus on enhancing the well-being of all stakeholders in Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency.
“I want to assure you that Asiwaju will continue to look for ways and means to improve the life of all workers so that they will continue to be more intellectually built with improve efficiency and professionalism in carrying out their duties.
“I also want to assure that this next four years, the welfare of Nigerians will be of priorities, as this current administration is poise to return the country back to economic development and prosperity.” he said.
Sanusi acknowledging the role of the public servants and labour movement significant contributions to the successful implementation of government policies and programs was quick to advise that no one or group should be coerced against his or her will. He attributed the past achievements of Asiwaju to the harmonious relationship between the labour movement, public service and political office holders, stressing that the new president of Nigeria will not labour in vain.
LAGOS STATE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL FELICITATES WITH PRINCE RABIU ADIO OLUWA, ONE OF LAGOS STATE G.A.C MEMBERS ON HIS BIRTH ANNIVERSAY.
…………..Recounts Him As One The Brain Boxes Of All Progressives Congress In Lagos State……..
……………..Beseeches God For Longetivity Of Life And sound Health For Him………………
……………..Describes Him As A Mentor And Leader Worthy Of Celebration And Emulation………….
“The joy of every business owner is to see the business thriving. The joy of every teacher is to see the students become successful. The joy of every parent is to see the child growing to become somebody in life.
On the other hand, in replication, It is also a thing of joy seeing one’s teacher, leader, guardian, director, adviser, educator and mentor being celebrated on a special day like today.
“Whatever ways people have been describing Prince Rabiu Adio Oluwa, a worthy member of Lagos State Governance Advisory Council (GAC), the Apex Leader of APC Lagos West Senatorial District he befittingly deserves the accolades showered on him as a proven Progressive, a Leader, a Mentor, a Grassrooter Mayor, a Visionary Personality, a Solid Mobilizer, a Stabilizer, a Socialite and Political Strategist”~ Lagos State Executive Council.
“Indeed you have proven yourself as a bulwark of democracy, a quintessential leader, a true servant of the people, a role model, particularly to all young progressive politicians in Lagos State and in Nigeria.
Through clear actions and deeds, you have unambiguously demonstrated high values and contributed immensely to the development/stability of our noble party and Lagos State”, they extol the diehard progressive leader.
Today is not only special for you, but also for everyone you’ve touched through your many acts of exemplary and fatherly leadership.
Our prayer from the #GreaterLagos team, ably led by the workaholic Captain, Mr Babajide Sanwoolu for you on this auspicious occasion of your birth anniversary is that God Almighty grant you long life in good health and happiness, protect you against all evils, uplift you in all facets of life, above all, take you to the very peak of your heart desire (Amen).
May this day mark the beginning of greater exploits to come in your life Sir.
BREAKING: APC Dissolves Presidential Campaign Council — April 23, 2023
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has dissolved its Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) inaugurated last year to prosecute the 2023 presidential election.
The dissolution was contained in a statement on Saturday night, jointly signed by the Director General of the APC PCC, Governor Simon Bako Lalong and the Secretary of the council, James Abiodun Faleke.
The party on behalf of the chairman of the Presidential Campaign Council, President Muhammadu Buhari; the president-elect, Bola Tinubu and other leaders, thanked all council members, leaders and supporters for working assiduously for the resounding victory of the president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
“Since the campaign council began in September 2022, we have witnessed an unprecedented, relentless, and engaging mobilisation of our members nationwide and in the diaspora towards securing the majority popular votes for the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential ticket. The journey has been a worthy one with our hard-won victory. The credit goes to all our members particularly, the leaders and members of the various campaign directorates.
“We would like to express our deepest appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), for his unwavering support and leadership throughout the campaign. We could not have achieved this level of success without his single-mindedness, commitment, and forthrightness.
“However, we have concluded that it is in the best interest of the campaign and its stakeholders for us to dissolve our council with immediate effect. This has become necessary to retune us towards the May 29, 2023, inauguration of the President-elect Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration. The process of transitioning into a new era of a Renewed Hope is underway and all our energies and activities must reflect the principles underlying this process.
“We hope that you will all continue to stay involved in Nigeria’s political process and to advocate for issues that you believe in. Our democracy is stronger when we all participate in the political process with patriotism.We would like to take this opportunity to thank you once again for your support, dedication, and hard work”, the statement said in part.
History is made as Amuwo-Odofin, a community in Lagos State officially unveiled an Oba-elect to the public after 1000 years the stool has been vacant.
The Oba-elect, Prince Kazeem Olawale Adewusi from the Erogun family of the Amuwo-Odofin royal family, according to the head of the royal family, Alhaji Saheed Kazeem, was chosen following an intensive consultation of the Ifa oracle.
Despite the nomination of an Oba-Elect since 2022, the indigenous people of Amuwo Odofin LGA still awaits the formal inauguration and ceremonies that accompanies such royal stool from the Lagos State Government.
The aborigines have expressed concerns particularly as the traditional artifacts and historic customs of the people are been daily eroded due to the infliterations of non-indigeneous persons through political interference in the customary activities of Amuwo Odofin LGA.
A call has also been made to the relevant authorities towards addressing these gaps and to ensure that the people are not denied their king and the generic roles of traditional rulers are not eroded.
Push News 24 International reported that …Speaking during the official presentation held at the Amuwo-Odofin royal town hall, Kazeem said, “For over 1000 years, Amuwo-Odofin town has been headed by Baales.
He stated that the Ifa oracle chose Adewusi as the first Oba-elect out of the three contestants, each from a different branch of the Erogun royal family.
From L-R: Head of the family, Amuwo Odofin Royal Family, Lagos State, Alhaji Kazeem Onípélé; General Secretary, Alhaji Saheed Balogun, Oba-elect of Amuwo Odofin Land, Prince Kazeem Olawale Adewusi and Alhaja Sidikat Afinowi during the official presentation of Prince Adewusi to public as the Oba-elect in Amuwo Odofin .
In August 2022, we were at the Lagos state House of Assembly for a matter that concerns the rulership of our town, Amuwo-Odofin, where the leadership of the House advised us to have a king.
They said as much as other neighbouring towns such as Kuje-Amuwo, Abule Ado, Imore, Itire and others would boast of having their kings, we too should not be left out.
This calls for concern; however, when there was an imperative yearning by the native inhabitants of our town to demand a traditional ruler, we then convoked a meeting to discuss the process of choosing a King for the town.”
Speaking further on the mode of selection, General Secretary, Amuwo-Odofin royal family, Alhaji Mutiu Basorun, said the kingmakers consulted the oracle on September 1st, 2022, after which two candidates made it to the final stage.
He said, “All the five ruling houses comprising Ijaoye, Idewu, Omola, Amogun and Erogun of the royal family decided that the emergence of a traditional ruler must be in accordance with the tradition and culture of the land.
The choice of Prince Kazeem Olawale Adewusi was made possible by the intensive consultation of the Ifa Oracle carried out by the town’s kingmakers on September 1st, 2022, after which three contestants initially showed interest in contesting for the vacant royal stool but two of them eventually made it to the final stage.
The three contestants were Prince Habib Adewusi, Prince Toyin Adewusi and Prince Kazeen Olawale Adewusi, all from the Erogun family branch of the Amuwo Odofin royal family.
Adewuusi has the best Ifa corpus hence he was chosen as the Oba-elect. The emphatic revelations and interpretations of the diviners were also acknowledged by the selection committee and emissaries on the mission.
It is therefore worthy of mention that the kingmakers painstakingly and conscientiously went through the process that produced Prince Kazeem Olawale Adewusi as our Oba-elect.
And this has brought about peace, love and mutual understanding, especially among the royal family.
We, however, immensely thank all the inhabitants of our town and other major stakeholders for their patience, love and mutual understanding over the years. It is our hope that the reign of our king would usher in peace, tranquillity and economic boom.”
TINUBU’S TEAM PARLEYS WITH THE INTERNATIONAL PRESS IN WASHINGTON DC:
THE NIGERIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 2023: SEPARATING THE FACTS FROM FICTIONS.
TEXT OF THE PARLEY HELD WITH THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA AT THE NATIONAL PRESS CENTER, WASHINGTON D.C, UNITED STATES ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12TH, 2023 BY REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PRESIDENT-ELECT, SENATOR BOLA AHMED TINUBU – MR. FESTUS KEYAMO, SAN (CHIEF SPOKESPERSON AND MINISTER OF STATE, LABOUR); MR. SUNDAY DARE (MINISTER OF YOUTH AND SPORTS); MR. AJURI NGELALE (ASST. PRINCIPAL SPOKESPERSON).
(1) It is our pleasure and privilege to welcome you to the National Press Center in Washington D.C for this interactive session on Nigeria’s Presidential Election, 2023. We do not intend to make this a long-winding and boring session, so we shall go straight to the points we intend to make to clear some of the fallacies that have been peddled around the world by the sore losers at the said election.
PREPARATION FOR THE ELECTIONS: A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD
(2) The country’s out-going President, Muhammadu Buhari, signed into law a Bill that seeks to improve our electoral process by introducing technology as a means of accrediting voters at the polling units. This is known as the ELECTORAL ACT, 2022. The opposition and international observers hailed him on this.
(3) There was also complete non-interference in the political process by State institutions. There were no reports of deployment of security agents or State apparati in support of the candidate of the ruling party. In fact, in some instances, the opposition celebrated the fact that our candidate had no support of the Government. These led to well-published reports (albeit false) that the President was not in support of the candidate of his own party.
THE STATE OF THE LEADING PARTIES BEFORE THE ELECTIONS
(4) The ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) controlled 21 out of the 36 States of the country and the FCT before the elections with elected Governors; whilst the main opposition, the People’s Demoratic Party (PDP) had 14 Governors and the All Progressives Grand Alliance had one Governor. The Labour Party had no single Governor or elected official at any level of Government.
(5) About eight months to the elections, the main opposition, the PDP, suffered some major set-backs. Its Vice-Presidential Candidate in 2019, Mr. Peter Obi moved to the Labour Party with his supporters, mainly from his region of origin, the South-East. Another of the Party’s main pillar of support in the North-West, Alhaji Musa Kwakwanso moved to the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP), taking with him a chunk of the party’s supporters in that region. Five (5) out of the 14 Governors of the PDP, publicly announced they would not be campaigning for or supporting its Presidential Candidate (Alhaji Atiku Abubakar). Meanwhile, the ruling party remained one huge, indivisible entity with no departure of any of its elected officials or public dissent from them. It was in this state of affairs that all the parties went into the elections.
THE ELECTION OF FEBRUARY 25TH, 2023
(6) Contrary to the false outcry by the opposition, the main technological device, Bi-modal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) did not fail on the election day. All the local and international observers scored the use of BVAS very high, with one local body called YIAGA, working in coalition with the EU and other International Observers, saying it recorded 88% success in all the polling units it monitored. The Nigeria Bar Association also issued its report saying only 8 percent of voters were not satisfied with the process on that day. The portal that the opposition made so much noise about, IREV, is just a viewing portal, which has nothing to do with accreditation or verification of voters or even the counting or recording of votes.
(7) Whilst we hold no brief for the Electoral Commission, it sufficiently explained to Nigerians the next day that the delay in uploading the results to the viewing portal was as a result of a technical glitch. And since the results have since been uploaded eventually, none of the parties have produced their own copies of the result sheets obtained at various polling units that substantially contradicts the results released and announced by the Electoral Commission. Even in their Election Petitions presently before the Court, no such alternative figures have been provided. So, what is all the fuss about?
(8) It is significant to note that some other elections into the Senate and House of Representatives held on the same day, at the same time and with the same personnel. The opposition candidates have since gleefully gone to collect their Certificates of Return for the various seats they won. Why did they not reject the outcome of those elections too and reject their Certificate of Return? This is hypocrisy taken too far.
THE RESULT OF THE ELECTION
(9) On Wednesday, the 1st of March, 2023, the Electoral Commission announced the results as follows:
§ APC – 8,794,726 (36.61%)
§ PDP – 6,984,520 (29.07%)
§ LP – 6,101,533 (25.40%)
§ NNPP – 1,496,687(6.23%)
Other smaller parties scored some negligible figures.
(10) The winner, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu has since collected his Certificate of Return and the Transition Committees are working hard towards a smooth transition.
THE ANALYSES AND CREDIBILITY OF THE RESULTS
(11) Our Constitution requires a Presidential candidate to secure the highest number of votes and score at at least one-quarter of the votes in two-thirds of the States of the Federation which includes the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Only Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu met these requirements especially that of the spread (he scored 25 percent and above in 29 States), even though all 3 top candidates won 12 States each. The candidate of the PDP scored 25% and above in just 21 States, falling short of the 24 States required and the candidate of the Labour Party scored 25% and above in 15 States plus the Federal Capital Territory, making it 16 States. There was just no pathway to victory for these candidates who did not have the requisite national acceptability. So, how tenable is the claim of rigging the elections? We see none
(12) It is significant to note that the elections were so credible that it threw up some upsets in our otherwise settled demography. For the first time, 20 sitting Governors lost their States, mostly those of the ruling party. Seven Governors who sought elections into the Senate failed to scale through. This has never happened in the history of Nigeria. In addition, the President-Elect lost his home State (Lagos State); the sitting President lost his home State (Katsina State); the Director-General of the Campaign lost his home State (Plateau State); the ruling Party Chairman lost his home State (Nassarawa State); the Chairman of the ruling Party’s Governor Forum lost his home State (Kebbi State) and the ruling party lost some of its traditional strong holds like Yobe State, Kaduna State and Kano State. All these go to show that it was a keenly contested election and one of the most credible in our history.
(13) The reports of some irregularities and violence in some polling units could not have affected the overall outcome of the elections too. There are 176,974 polling units in Nigeria and infractions and violence were recorded in less than one percent of these units. How could these have affected the overall results of the elections? Whilst we look forward to an era when there would be no single casualty during elections in Nigeria, however, the statistics show that 2023 recorded the lowest casualty rates ever. During the 1964/65 elections about 200 deaths were recorded as a result of election violence; 1993 election recorded 100 deaths; 1999 election recorded 80 deaths; 2003 polls recorded 100 deaths and 2007 polls recorded 300 deaths. The 2011 polls recorded 800 deaths, the 2015 polls recorded 100 deaths and the 2019 polls recorded 150 deaths. However, the 2023 polls recorded no more than 28 deaths as a result of election violence. So, the claim that this is the “worst” election so far is totally unfounded.
(14) In conclusion, our laws have provided for settled means by which election disputes are resolved. The aggrieved parties have taken advantage of this remedy by filing their cases in Court. We urge them to have faith in our judicial system and desist from spreading false tales about our election across the world.
Meanwhile, arrangements for the handover ceremonies are in full gear. The President-Elect will take his Oath of Office as President of Nigeria on May 29th, 2023. You are all invited.
FESTUS KEYAMO, SAN, FCIArb (UK) For and on behalf of the team